Share1 https://www.terrain.org/mp3/2020/sep/Fries-Test.mp3 To Take a Pregnancy Test after Miscarriage Remember the place where you hid as child, the pile of rocks that made a room beneath a stand of arcing saplings. Be there. Remember the satisfaction of loneliness, the space you occupy inside the secret of your body. Wherever death has lodged itself, tucked in the crevices of your being, unfold: run your fingers through it, soften it with beeswax and almond oil, feel it loosen. Call down your most feral angel, all wings and eyes and gale-force winds to shove your heaving weight against. Think of all the lacy ephemera that have no business living— luna moths, spidery orchids, mayflies light as dust, feathered jellyfish, baby hummingbirds for godsake— a minuscule time-keeping muscle could be beating already. https://www.terrain.org/mp3/2020/sep/Fries-Postpartum.mp3 Postpartum Ten days later, I go looking for myself, walk slowly to the middle of a field and stand, sun loosening my shoulders. I become a bowl, filling, and realize that in the storm of labor, which felt as much like death as life breaking forth, which called up such groans, I did not cry out to God. Neither in the peace after, fish-child wriggling on my chest, did I think to offer a prayer of thanks, except, perhaps, to my own wild body. Does this have anything to do with faith? The earth smells wet. What I remember: the scent of birth blood and witch hazel, the nurse entering the dim room— May I wash your baby? And she did, silently, cradling him against her forearm next to where I lay. No rush, no ceremony. Her competent hands. The sound of water running over his head, down his body. His inexplicable quiet. https://www.terrain.org/mp3/2020/sep/Fries-FearofGod.mp3 Fear of God Not fire, unless you mean the snapping shrimp’s plasma bubble, the whole ocean pressing in till it (snap!) explodes. Not judgment, unless you mean how a woman’s body chooses an egg, grooms it four months before letting it go. Not choirs of angels, unless you mean the black hole out of whose nothingness drones a B-flat, fifty-seven octaves low. Not plague unless you mean our cells’ well-planned extinction: webbing dissolving to reveal such fingers, such hands. Not lightning, unless you mean the Judas tree, its cotton-candy bloom igniting the old resurrection show. Fear, from per: to risk. The risk of God, the dare of delicacy, fierce wager of conception, the Word, again. Hannah Fries is the author of the poetry collection Little Terrarium and the book Forest Bathing Retreat. She is the recipient of a Bread Loaf scholarship, and her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, the Massachusetts Review, and other journals. An editor for Storey Publishing, she lives in western Massachusetts. Read other poetry by Hannah Fries appearing in Terrain.org: “Albatross,” poems by Hannah Fries and paintings by Sara Parilli, “Sea Paintings: Winslow Homer,” and two poems: “But See” and “Descending Killington Peak.” Header photo by Robsonphoto, courtesy Shutterstock. Photo of Hannah Fries by Susan Quinn.